Torts Keyed to Henderson
Kennedy v. Parrott
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Dr. Fountain Parrott (Defendant), a surgeon, diagnosed Phoebe Kennedy (Plaintiff) with appendicitis and recommended surgery. Plaintiff agreed to the surgery. During surgery, Defendant discovered cysts on Plaintiff’s ovaries and punctured them, which is medically indicated because such cysts can grow and become dangerous. After surgery, Plaintiff developed phlebitis. Defendant informed Plaintiff that, while puncturing the cysts, he had cut a blood vessel and caused the phlebitis. Defendant additionally told another doctor that he had caused the phlebitis. Defendant recommended that Plaintiff visit another hospital and agreed to pay the bill. Another doctor operated on the phlebitis for the purpose of trying “to correct the damage that was done.” Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence, but provided no real evidence of damages or bad judgment on the part of Defendant. Expert witnesses testified that puncturing the cysts was medically indicated. Defendant moved for involuntary nonsuit. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion. Plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court of North Carolina, resting her theory of recovery on the claim that Defendant had committed a battery or trespass on the person when he exceeded the scope of her consent during the operation, rather than a negligence theory.
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